Nigeria Needs A New Consititution, Not Ammendment – Ozekhome

Nigeria Needs A New Consititution, Not Ammendment – Ozekhome

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome, has said the country needs a new constitution rather than an amendment to the 1999 Constitution.

Ozekhome stated that no amount of amendment can cure the flaws in the 1999 constitution following the set-up of Committees to review and amend the country’s law by the National Assembly.

He said this on Monday during a National Constitutional dialogue in Lagos in honour of the late Ben Nwabueze, the Pioneer Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

The senior lawyer asserted that military leaders handed over the current constitution to Nigerians and that a new constitution should be created through a referendum.

Ozkehome added that a new constitution will make provisions for the creation of state police, stating that the argument for abuse of state police is not tenable.

He said: “But will their (national assembly) work amount to what we are looking for? Is it just the amendment of the constitution that is our problem? Can you amend a bad document? Can you amend a fundamentally flawed document?.

“My humble answer is that you cannot. One million amendments, multiple by one million amendments of the present fundamentally flawed constitution, cannot cure the original sin.

What is that original sin? It was imposed on you and me militarily by a military junta led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar and 28 members of the provisional ruling council.

“It was never subjected to the referendum of the people. Guess what? The present constitution was attached as a mere schedule to decree number 24 of 1999.

So the constitution you are using is a mere schedule attached to a decree. How can you amend it? How do you cleanse it? Nigeria must own their own constitution through a popular referendum of the people.”

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